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A Dickens classic - partly performed - but you’ll still rejoice in it

By Costa Maragos Posted: December 15, 2016 6:00 a.m.

The Prairie Chamber Choir presents Traditions at Christmas Time, December 18. The choir is filled with performers with U of R connections and features music from prairie composers.
The Prairie Chamber Choir presents Traditions at Christmas Time, December 18. The choir is filled with performers with U of R connections and features music from prairie composers. Photo courtesy of Jayden Dreher

David McIntyre hopes to still be around someday when his composition of A Christmas Carol is performed in its entirety. For now, he’ll gladly settle for two of the seven movements of his piece.

They will be featured at the Prairie Chamber Choir’s concert Traditions at Christmas Time, December 18, 7:30 pm at Christ Lutheran Church in Regina.

McIntyre is a Regina-based composer who also fills in teaching at the U of R’s music department. He taught piano during the fall semester, filling in for professor Christine Vanderkooy, who returns from her leave in January.

McIntyre’s seven-part composition of the Dicken’s classic runs nearly two hours and was commissioned by the Calgary Chorus in 2008. The Chorus performed about 40 minutes of the work that year. The Regina concert will also feature six of the movements - two sung by the choir and four read by choir member Ed Willett.

David McIntyre
David McIntyre is a Regina-based composer.


“I’m delighted the choir is performing this,” says McIntyre, who will accompany the choir on the piano. “The piano is the orchestra in this case. It's wonderful as a composer to be involved with the chorus. This kind of piece demands an engaged, theatrical approach that makes Dicken's characters come alive. The choir is first-rate and I’m delighted with the choir's commitment and Melissa's inspired conducting.”

The choir is under the direction of Melissa Morgan, who received her bachelor of arts and bachelor of music education from the U of R and recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis in choral conducting at the University of Toronto. The concert accompanist is Allison Purdy, an alumna who has performed for numerous other choirs including the U of R Concert Choir.

The choir’s U of R connections don’t stop there. Choir members have included students, alumni, faculty and staff.

The concert features pieces from prairie composers, including Nancy Tefler, Peter Tiefenbach and David McIntyre. The show is divided into two parts. The first half includes numerous pieces including a Tiefenbach composition that features a piano duet performed by Purdy and McIntyre.

The show’s second half is devoted to McIntyre’s Dickens piece.

"I’m so moved at this time of the year by the whole message of a Dickens Christmas Carol,” says McIntyre. “It is a wonderful transformative kind of story. It gives everyone, I think, a warm kind of feeling and hopefully motivation to do well with others.”

Event:     Traditions at Christmas Time
Venue:     Christ Lutheran Church
Location:  4825 Dewdney Avenue
For ticket information please visit here.